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The Best Leather Work Gloves for 2023

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

When most people think about work gloves, the first things that will usually come to mind are those made out of tough leather and for good reason. The best leather work gloves do not only last for many years but are also tough enough to protect users against cuts, punctures, and abrasions.

If your profession often places your hands at risk, like a carpenter, furniture maker, blacksmith, general contractor, plumber, mechanic, or any other line of work that requires a certain degree of dexterity then you will need proper work gloves. Some people think that they do not need proper hand protection, citing that leather working gloves only get in the way of their work.

best leather work gloves

However, they are also placing their hands in danger because if an accident happens, which is quite common in workplaces, the hands are usually the ones that are in extreme danger. For instance, inexperienced homeowners who try to do DIY repairs on their homes just so they can avoid paying a professional contractor would almost always work without the proper protection.

Also, they often have to pay more in hospital emergency room fees because they either hit their fingers with a hammer or got their hands sliced open trying to pick up broken glass shards. If your hands are your meal-ticket then do your best to keep them safe.


<strong>Top 1</strong>

Wells Lamont Leather Work Gloves

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<strong>Top 2</strong>

Midwest Buffalo Leather Gloves

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<strong>Top 3</strong>

OZERO Leather Work Gloves

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Top 12 Leather Work Gloves Reviews of 2023

1. Wells Lamont Leather Work Gloves

What I loved about these protective gloves is that they are made from 100% pure cowhide. The first time I put these gloves on, I can feel that they are tough and durable. These are made out of 100% grain cowhide and double-stitched at the seams. They also come with reinforcing patches on the palms and fingers.

These little details show just how much craftsmanship went into each pair of gloves. Aside from durability, these full-grain leather work gloves provide more than ample protection for the hands. Because they are made of premium cowhide, the gloves are highly resistant to puncturing and abrasions.

You can work as hard as you want without worrying about the status of your gloves. They will be just fine, so expect your hands to be the same. A neat detail that the manufacturers included that I truly liked is the adjustable wrist cuff. It comes with a ball and tape adjustment so you can choose just how tight these gloves fit.

Moreover, the straps prevent dust and dirt from getting inside the gloves and irritating the skin of your hands. The best features, in my opinion, are the keystone thumb designs. This means that the thumb is made from a separate piece of leather and stitched separately from the rest of the gloves.

This design allows more movement from the thumbs. It adds both comfort and additional finger dexterity that are sometimes lacking in work gloves in general. Although I am quite happy with the gloves that I received, there were quite a lot of people who reported that their gloves did not last as long as they expected.

Some said that they only got four days of use before the stitching popped out. It seems like there are issues with the QA department of Wells Lamont because they are getting mixed reviews.
What We Like
  • Made of very durable cowhide leather
  • Can protect against punctures, cuts, and abrasions
  • Very well-constructed
  • Has a keystone thumb for added dexterity
  • Features a wrist strap that you can easily tighten
What We Don’t Like
  • The stitching gets undone after just a few uses.
Although it is quite concerning that there are some batches of WL gloves that are not up to snuff, the good batches are definitely worth the price. Hopefully, WL gets its act together and improve on their QA but with that said, I have no complaints with the pair that I got.

2. Midwest Buffalo Leather Gloves

The thing that impressed me the most about these gloves is that they are made out of 100% American Buffalo (aka Bison) leather. Even though bison and cowhide leather is almost identical in terms of strength and durability, bison is a bit more flexible.

These high-quality leather work gloves are gathered around the wrist using a bit of elastic. This will create a seal around your wrists that will prevent dirt and dust from getting inside. The cuffs are also hemmed for added strength and durability. This elastic band keeps the gloves fitting snug in the hands.

The thumbs are installed in a keystone fashion, meaning that they are made from a separate piece of leather and stitched separately into the main body of the black leather work gloves. This gives the thumbs more freedom of movement while making the buffalo leather work gloves very comfortable and not restrictive at all.

Because bison leather is naturally warm, these gloves do not need any additional lining. This means that these are much lighter than other leather gloves. Also, because they are thinner, you do not lose too much tactile feedback from your fingers, allowing you to perform more intricate tasks without having to remove the gloves.

The only problem that I have with these men’s leather work gloves is that they are sized too large. I usually use size L gloves, but the medium-sized Midwest gloves fit my hands perfectly. So, if you will be buying Midwest buffalo leather gloves, make sure that you get the next smaller size than you usually would wear.
What We Like
  • Made of buffalo leather, which is strong and durable
  • Flexible and elastic construction
  • Naturally soft so it does not need additional lining
  • Warm enough to protect the hands from the cold
  • Sealed by an elastic band, which helps in preventing dust and dirt from getting inside the gloves
What We Don’t Like
  • Comes in a large size – If your hands are a size L, you need to get the size M so they will fit you perfectly.
The issue with the sizing is not that serious at all but if you are not aware of this problem then you probably would have bought the wrong size and might need to send it back or get another smaller pair. It has plenty of nice features that it is highly recommended for you to experience using these best leather gloves for work.

3. OZERO Flex Grip Leather Work Gloves

I like the cowhide that the manufacturers used in making these leather construction gloves. Grain cowhide is one of the best materials for making gloves because it is naturally shrink-resistant. It is also very supple and flexible. It also has the keystone thumb design, which mimics the actual placement of the thumb almost perfectly.

Another reason I like this pair of all-leather work gloves is that they are made with 1mm to 1.2mm thick leather. This is thick enough to protect my hands against abrasion, scratches, and punctures (like when I tend my rose bushes). However, these are not so thick that my fingers can no longer feel anything outside of the gloves.

The palms are also reinforced with another layer of leather. This is useful in enhancing the durability against wear and providing more grip. The reinforced palm also provides additional padding for the hands to prevent the development of callouses.

The wrists of these leather safety gloves are gathered and have an embedded elastic band. This allows the gloves to hug the wrists of the wearer and prevent foreign particles and other kinds of debris from getting inside and causing all sorts of skin irritation on your hands.

This is beneficial if your hands often get irritated after they become a bit sweaty once you have worked for quite some time. However, although these gloves have been serving me well, the base around the middle fingers was a bit tight when I first used them.

Fortunately, after a while, they felt a lot more comfortable and easier to use. I think you just need to give them time to break in.

This is beneficial if your hands often get irritated after they become a bit sweaty once you have worked for quite some time. However, although these gloves have been serving me well, the base around the middle fingers was a bit tight when I first used them.

Fortunately, after a while, they felt a lot more comfortable and easier to use. I think you just need to give them time to break in.

What We Like
  • Made of genuine grain leather that is shrink-resistant, making them easy to wash
  • Thick enough to protect against punctures, cuts, and abrasions
  • Thin enough that it allows ample tactile sense in the fingers
  • Uses grain cowhide, which is naturally non-irritant and sweat-absorbing
  • Double-reinforced across the palms, offering additional durability and improving grip
What We Don’t Like
  • Needs to be broken in
The issue with the fingers being a bit tight is only temporary and will disappear on its own the more you wear the gloves. With that in mind, there is no reason why you should not at least try using one pair of Ozero gloves since they are among the most durable leather work gloves you can find today.

4. Supersfel Medium Gardening Gloves for Men and Women

Deemed as one of the best safety leather gloves, this pair is designed to protect both the hands and arms! With gauntlets made of goatskin and sleeves made of cowhide, these hand covers are soft yet durable enough to withstand wear and tear!

While working with thorny plants, the thick glove material lets me grab onto the branches without getting punctured. Thanks to the adjustable cuffs, I can tighten the sleeves regardless of whether I extend toward my elbows or roll them down during a hot day. This way, I can ensure that my skin is safe against poison ivy and bug bites.

As far as dexterity is concerned, I can use my gardening tools with ease. The goatskin is flexible and unlike similar gloves, the interiors feel comfy. There are no stiff parts that could rub my skin raw and cause blisters while working. Plus, they fit my hands perfectly well.

However, I know some women find the smallest size still a little too big for them. This wouldn’t be an issue if these were advertised as men’s goatskin leather work gloves. If you are ordering online, measure your hands and check the manufacturer’s size charts before purchasing!
What We Like
  • Soft yet highly durable
  • Keeps you safe against thorns and bugs
  • Protects arms and hands
  • Lets your hands move with ease
  • Feels comfortable to wea
What We Don’t Like
  • Size “S” is still big for slender hands
Considering all the features, I think these gloves are suitable for professional gardeners and homeowners who enjoy working in their yards. Aside from offering reliable protection against sharp thorns, poisonous plants, and nasty insects, they are gentle towards your hands.

5. Toledano Industries Large Leather Work Gloves

Featuring a versatile design, these affordable leather mechanic gloves can also be used for ranch work, yard work, and general household applications. In a single purchase, you get 12 pairs of white cowhide leather gloves.

In addition to its durability, cowhide is known for its optimal flexibility, breathability, and waterproof properties. What’s more, it is resistant to abrasion. Meanwhile, the keystone thumbs enable my hands to move more naturally.

For a worker like myself, these qualities come in handy whenever I need to use hand tools, carry large boxes, or pull wires apart.

Outside of the industrial setting, I can wear these gloves for gardening and farming. After all, the material is tough enough to protect me against puncturing thorns and branches. Yet, the leather is ultra soft and comfy. I don’t mind wearing these hand covers for long hours.

In terms of fitting, these gloves are available in small to triple-extra large but I find that they tend to run small. Sadly, I cannot find the manufacturer’s size chart online. If you can find these gloves in your local hardware, I suggest trying them out first to determine the correct size. Secondly, they emit a strong chemical smell. Thankfully, the odor faded after a while.
What We Like
  • Apt for yard, farm, industrial, and housework
  • Shields your hands against pointy objects
  • Made of high-quality cowhide
  • Excellent comfort and breathability
  • Provides 12 pairs at a low price
What We Don’t Like
  • No size chart available
  • Has a strong chemical odor
Setting aside the minor issues, I guarantee you that these versatile white cowhide gloves are comfy to wear regardless of the task. Moreover, they can keep your hands safe against punctures and abrasion.

6. Carhartt Leather Fencer Work Glove

Although these soft leather work gloves are a bit on the expensive side, they are more than worth it just for the material that they are made of, which is suede leather. This material has the same durability as regular leather but is softer and more comfortable to wear.

This is ideal for fencer’s gloves because it provides sufficient grip even on wet surfaces. There are patches of extra suede leather wrapped across the palm and at the base of the thumb and they are meant to provide additional padding and durability. Also, the patches are stitched in such a way that they provide extra grip.

The additional leather patches also add even more puncture-resistance. This allowed me to hold onto barbed wire without any problem at all. Even though the suede leather is already soft and comfortable on its own, these work gloves still have a polyester lining that you can find along the palms for additional padding.

Moreover, there is a Sherpa pile lining across the top of the hand. This provides additional insulation and sweat-absorption qualities. Another thing I liked about the Carhartt fencer gloves is that they are flexible enough that I still have enough dexterity in my hands to do detailed tasks, like holding onto nails

I liked that I did not have to compromise protection for dexterity because I got them both. The thing that disappointed me the most about this product is that the leather quality seems to have declined in recent years.

With that said, it is better to buy a couple of pairs of these gloves and rotate using them. Using just one pair for regular heavy work will cause the leather to deteriorate rather quickly.

What We Like
  • Made of soft and durable suede leather
  • Features an additional lining inside the gloves for comfort and insulation
  • Has reinforcing patches that you can find along the parts that receive the most wear
  • The suede leather is naturally sweat-absorbent
  • Does not take away that much hand dexterity
What We Don’t Like
  • The leather cannot withstand regular heavy use.
Although it is a shame that the newer batches of these nice leather work gloves are not as durable as they were a couple of years ago, there is still a good chance that you will chance upon a good batch so you should at least give them a try.

7. KIM YUAN Leather Work Gloves

First of all, it is notable just how thick these premium leather work gloves are. At the thinnest part, they are at least 1.2mm thick, which means that they can withstand quite a lot of abuse. This makes these gloves the perfect choice for gardening, masonry, carpentry, and any other tasks where the hands need ample protection.

The cuffs of these toughest leather work gloves are gathered using a heavy-duty elastic band so that it will immediately hug around the wrists, providing a good seal. I find this feature very useful especially when I am cutting a huge pile of lumber for a carpentry project.

There is not even one bit of sawdust that was able to penetrate the gloves while I was working, making them truly comfortable. Even the construction made sure that they will last. This option for the longest-lasting work gloves is constructed using the Gunn cut, which simply means that the seams are as far away from the palms as possible.

It is mainly because that is the area that receives the most stress. This type of glove construction protects the seams, thereby preventing them from popping. Another detail about these gloves that I rather enjoy is the keystone thumb. This means that the thumb is separately stitched, thus giving the hands even more freedom of movement.

This also provides even more durability because the thumb does not cause the glove material to stretch so much. The only issue that I have about these leather work gloves for men is their sizing.

The other glove brands have a problem with over-sizing their products but Kim Yuan gloves used women’s glove sizes. This means that if you are a man, you need to order one size bigger than your actual hand size.

What We Like
  • Made of thick, durable grain leather
  • Has an elastic wrist that completely seals the base
  • Constructed using Gunn cuts for added durability
  • Has a keystone thumb for added dexterity
  • Comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee
What We Don’t Like
  • The sizes are too small for men’s hands.
The issue regarding the sizes is just a minor inconvenience as you can just order a larger size, which is fortunate because these are very nice all-purpose work gloves, probably one of the best options currently available.

8. Superior Glove Goatskin Leather Work Gloves

Unlike the other leather utility gloves in this list so far, these are made from premium goatskin. This material is much lighter and softer than cowhide yet it is still very resistant against abrasion. This is why these gloves are more flexible and allow more dexterity compared to other gloves.

The downside to using goatskin is that it is much thinner than cowhide, so it does not have as much puncture and cut-resistance. The manufacturers had a solution for this: line the inside of the gloves with Kevlar.

This inner Kevlar lining greatly increases the puncture and cut-resistance of these gloves without compromising the weight and flexibility. These got an ANSI A4 grade for puncture and cut-resistance and Level 3 for ASTM standards.

Also, unlike the other gloves listed above, these are resistant to arc welding sparks, which means hot sparks and embers will not burn through them. However, it is important to keep in mind that these gloves are not heat-resistant.

They can resist sparks and brief exposure to open flames but will melt when they touch extremely hot objects. Another thing that impressed me about these good leather work gloves is that they are very comfortable. They are probably the most comfortable work gloves that I have ever used and I have seen quite a lot of brands in my time.

With that said, these also make for great driving gloves as they can easily absorb vibrations. The only feature that I wish was in these gloves is the elastic wrist cuff because there have been more than a couple of times that I had to turn these gloves inside out to get rid of the debris that accidentally fell into them from the loose cuffs.
What We Like
  • Made from goatskin, which is lighter and more flexible than cowhide
  • Has impeccable abrasion-resistance
  • Comes with a Kevlar inner lining to provide excellent puncture and cut-resistance
  • Can resist arc welding sparks
  • Comfortable to wear and can absorb and dissipate vibrations well
What We Don’t Like
  • The cuffs are a bit too loose so debris can easily get into the gloves.
The issue with the cuffs is a bit disappointing but even that does not take that much away from this product. This is still one of the best leather work gloves that you can buy right now.

9. OLSON DEEPAK Heavy-Duty Industrial Safety Gloves

These brown leather work gloves are made from premium cowhide leather that is no less than 1.2mm at their thinnest part. Even though this makes the gloves quite thick, they are still soft and flexible. Because they are so thick, it adds to their puncture and cut-resistance.

It does not matter if these gloves are made of the strongest material on the planet. If they are not constructed well, they will still fall apart. This is not a problem with the OLSON DEEPAK Heavy-Duty Industrial Safety Gloves. These are constructed using double stitching at the seams.

They also utilized Gunn cuts so that the seams are as far away from contact surfaces as possible. The wrists also have a heavy-duty elastic band stitched inside to create a seal around the hands of the user. This prevents debris from getting inside the gloves. This is very useful when doing masonry or sawing huge piles of wood.

I have had cement accidentally poured inside my work gloves before and it is not a pleasant experience. Even though the cowhide material used for these gloves is quite thick, the great thing is that this is also the total thickness of the gloves. There is no inner lining as the cowhide is already soft and sweat-absorbent on its own.

This means that this product provides more than ample protection for the hands while remaining lightweight and thin. The only issue that I have with these gloves is that they need a bit of breaking in before they are perfect.

The leather was still a bit too stiff for my liking but not so much that I could not use the gloves properly. The good news is that after a day or two of regular yard work, they finally became the right level of flexibility that I like.

What We Like
  • Made of thick cowhide leather for excellent cut and puncture protection
  • Constructed using Gunn cuts to ensure durability
  • The elastic along the wrists help prevent sawdust and other nasty debris from getting inside.
  • Thinner compared to other work gloves because it does not come with a liner
  • Has a keystone thumb for added dexterity
What We Don’t Like
  • Needs to be broken in a bit before they fit perfectly
Although these gloves are a bit stiff when brand new, they do become a lot more comfortable in no time at all. This is why you should not think twice about getting a pair of these or maybe even two.

10. Vgo Unlined Cowhide Split Leather Work Gloves

The thing that I liked the most about these gloves is that they are affordable. It is just a little under $17 for three pairs, which is a steal especially when you consider the quality of the product. If you require gloves for regular yard work or gardening and such, these are great investments.

The leather gloves are made of high-quality split cowhide leather, which provides above-average protection against puncture and cuts. This is great for people who work in warehouses or stock rooms as they can provide ample resistance against abrasions.

I have used these gloves for an entire afternoon of moving boulders for a landscaping project and they held up surprisingly well. When it comes to construction quality, this product is top-notch. The seams are double-stitched and utilized Gunn cuts to protect them from excessive wear and tear.

There is also an extra material across the palms and around the base of the thumbs for extra cushioning and added durability. Also, these come with a shirred elastic band across the back of the wrist. This ensures that the gloves are secured on your hands and will not slip off accidentally.

This is important for tasks that involve heavy lifting. You do not want to lose your hold on the object because your gloves slipped off your hands, do you? The issue I have about these gloves is that they do not last very long when used for heavy tasks like masonry work, chopping trees, and any other jobs that put a lot of stress on them.

However, the manufacturer did mention that these were made for light to moderate duty but these would have been almost perfect if only they were a bit tougher.

What We Like
  • Affordable since you can get a pack of three gloves at less than $20
  • Constructed with durability in mind using double-stitching at the seams and Gunn cuts
  • Made of genuine split cowhide
  • Provides ample puncture and cut-resistance
  • Can resist a good amount of abrasive damage
What We Don’t Like
  • Seems to take a lot of dexterity away from the hands
Although these gloves are a bit unwieldy, they still work great when used for light to medium tasks. There is also the point that they have an unbeatable price so you should seriously consider getting these for your use.

11. CLC Custom Leathercraft 2055L Split Cowhide Gloves

These are pretty inexpensive leather gloves and they provide more than their worth in benefits. First, these gloves are made of split cowhide leather, which provides just the right amount of thickness without compromising dexterity. Even with these gloves on, I can still perform tasks that require a bit of skill.

These are also thick enough that they provide a bit of protection against punctures and cuts. However, take note that these gloves, although they are made of leather, are not meant for heavy-duty punishment. These were made for logistics work, like moving inventory in warehouses.

For these purposes, this product can provide enough protection. One of the reasons why these gloves are as durable as they are is because of the way they were constructed. These are made using Gunn cuts, which means the seams are placed above the palms and fingers. This way, they will not be subjected to too much wear and tear.

With this type of glove construction, you can almost always be sure that it will not be the seams that will be the last to fail. Because the leather is not so thick, there is still quite a lot of tactile sense in the fingers. Although it is still difficult to pick up coins off the floor, I can still hold and manipulate small tools while wearing these gloves

As mentioned earlier, these gloves are not meant for use for heavy tasks like logging, quarry work, or anything of the sort. This is a shame because these gloves looked like the perfect fit for these jobs. Sadly, the split leather cowhide is not thick enough to resist that much abrasion.
What We Like
  • Affordable price point
  • Thick enough to protect against light damage
  • Thin enough that the fingers can still move around freely
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Constructed for maximum durability
What We Don’t Like
  • Not meant for heavy-duty uses
Because these gloves are so thin, you can only use them for light to medium tasks. However, they are great for what they are meant to do. Coupled with their very affordable price, there is no reason why you should not get a pair for yourself.

12. OZERO Insulated Cold Proof Leather Gloves

If you are looking for lined leather work gloves that you can use even in the middle of winter, these are the ones that you need. I was surprised at how comfortable and warm these are. Even though it does not get too cold where I live, it does get chilly sometimes and the faux wool lining helped a lot.

I also liked that they are made of thick split cowhide that is at least 1.2mm thick throughout. This provides ample puncture and cut-resistance, which is important when using gloves with a thick inner lining. It is because it can be hard to feel through the gloves.

It is not enough that the materials used are tough. They need to be assembled properly and that is what was done for these gloves. All the seams are double-stitched and constructed using Gunn cuts to ensure that they will not pop open regardless of how hard the gloves are used.

I feel that the leather will deteriorate first before the seams – that is how strong these are. The materials are gathered around the seams and sewn to a strong elastic band so that when I wear the gloves, the wrists are completely sealed. This is nice when it is cold outside because the elastic prevents the chilly wind from getting inside the gloves.

The seal also prevents dirt and debris from getting inside, so you do not have to take off the gloves to shake off the dirt. The only complaint that I have is these run small. I always have used size L gloves but when I first got them, they were a bit cramped inside because of the faux wool lining.

They did get more comfortable once I broke them in, so this is not that big of an issue. However, if you want your gloves to fit well the first time, order a size larger than what you usually wear.

What We Like
  • Warm and cozy, thanks to the faux wool lining
  • Made of thick split cowhide leather
  • Highly puncture and cut-resistant
  • Elastic wrist prevents cold air and dust from getting inside
  • The combination of double-stitched seams, Gunn cuts, and keystone thumb ensures durable construction
What We Don’t Like
  • The sizes are quite small.
Even though these gloves run small, they do get more comfortable after a couple of uses. They also provide plenty of benefits, making them worthwhile to invest in.

What is a Pair of Leather Work Gloves


Leather work gloves are most likely the most popular kind of utilitarian hand protection that people use when they need to do manual labor, specifically those that have the potential of causing serious injuries. Leather, particularly cowhide, is the perfect material for these tasks because it is quite thick.

It is also resilient against damage, especially if it was treated very well. High-quality, full-grain cowhide is strong enough to resist stabbing, cutting, and abrasion, which is the kind of damage that you would expect from heavy manual labor tasks.

For instance, if you will be doing a carpentry project, you need to protect your hands from painful wood splinters (which usually gets infected when not treated immediately) and accidentally getting sliced open by box cutters or saws.

Not all leather work gloves are made of cowhide. Some brands leather from other animals. For instance, most of the leather gloves that come from certain parts of Asia, like China and India, sometimes use water buffalo hide. This could be stronger than cowhide when prepared properly.

Even in North America, some brands use bison leather and goatskin. These hides have their particular qualities and advantages, so you should consider them when you are shopping for gloves.

How Do Leather Work Gloves Work

In a nutshell, leather work gloves protect your hands against punctures, cuts, and abrasions while allowing a significant amount of hand dexterity to do your tasks properly. However, the question is what is it about leather that makes it the perfect material for work gloves?

Since there are different types of animal hides used for work gloves, we will focus mainly on cowhide leather as this is the most popular material used. For instance, if you need gloves that are highly resistant to abrasion, pick those made of cowhide. If you want gloves equipped with waterproofing properties, consider getting those made of goatskin.

Furthermore, because of their usual thickness and toughness, cowhide and buffalo hide are naturally puncture and cut-resistant. However, keep in mind that puncture-resistant and cut-resistant do not mean that these gloves are impervious to damage.

What it means is that they just do not get cut or punctured easily. So when you buy leather gloves, do not just grab sharp and pointy objects carelessly. They can and will poke through the gloves when handled improperly.

Types of Leather Work Gloves


Lots of brands and models of leather work gloves are available at present but in terms of type, you will notice that they are categorized into:

Pigskin Leather – Because of the sheer number of pigs being raised across the world, pigskin leather is fast becoming a popular material for making work gloves. Pigskin is versatile. It is also durable and breathable. Also, because it naturally has a layer of oil on the surface, you can expect it to be waterproof.

Pigskin gloves are also porous. Once you properly break them in, the leather gets softer and more breathable. This makes the gloves ideal for tasks that need excellent hand dexterity and protection.

Deerskin Leather – This is also a popular material in making work gloves. It is mainly because deerskin is lighter and more flexible than most other leather materials. It also has a better grip because it has more grain on the surface. This type is usually used for welding gloves because of its high heat resistance.

Among all the different types of leathers used for work gloves, deerskin is the softest and most comfortable to wear. Also, it provides more finger dexterity and tactile sense. However, deerskin is not quite as strong as cowhide or buffalo hide in terms of cut, puncture, and abrasion resistance.

Goatskin Leather – Goatskin is thinner and more flexible than cowhide and pigskin. It is also comparable to deerskin in terms of flexibility. Although goatskin has similar cut and puncture resistance as cowhide and buffalo hide, it differs in terms of durability.

When the leather starts to wear out, the cut-resistance and puncture-resistance will be affected, too. This is why most goatskin gloves are reinforced by adding a layer of Kevlar, or similar material, underneath the leather.

Moreover, goatskin contains a lot of natural lanolin, making it quite waterproof and resistant to abrasion. Also, goatskin can provide ample protection against welding sparks while keeping your hands warm.

Cowhide Leather – Cowhide is usually very thick, allowing it to provide more than ample protection against abrasion and nominal protection against puncture and cuts. However, this thickness combined with its somewhat loose fit might take a lot of finger dexterity away.

One advantage of this material, though, is that it lasts longer compared to goatskin and pigskin. Moreover, because it is the most widely available type of leather, it is more economical.

Buffalo Hide Leather – There isn’t much that makes buffalo leather any different from cowhide. Other than its color (buffalo hide is darker than natural cowhide), buffalo hide leather shares almost the same qualities as cowhide. Also, because the material is rare, gloves made out of it tend to be more expensive than cowhide.

Why Do You Need Leather Work Gloves

The short answer to this question is because leather work gloves keep your hands safe. If you are still not convinced, here’s the longer explanation that might make you realize just how important hand safety is.

Cut and puncture-resistance – If your line of work involves you putting your hands at risk of injuries, like getting poked, scratched, or downright getting stabbed and slashed, then you will need leather work gloves to keep them protected.

For instance, if you are a landscaper, then you will most likely handle not only sharp gardening tools but also plants with thorns and others that might cause severe skin irritation like poison ivy or poison nettles. Because of the risk, you have to protect your hands.

Abrasion-resistance – Leather gloves will serve as a second layer of skin for your hands – a thicker layer that does not feel anything, blister nor develop callouses. Work gloves allow you to grip onto tools tightly without slipping and use them to work harder without worrying about the skin on your palms and fingers getting shredded.

Provides Warmth – If you live in an area where the winters can get pretty harsh and you need to work outdoors, work gloves will be a necessity. Make sure to choose one with thick liners to keep your hands warm. Some leather gloves use leather that is thick enough to provide enough warmth.

Buying Guide


When shopping for leather work gloves, several things and points should be considered. Be careful not to just buy the first pair of gloves that you see. If you make the wrong choice, you will not only waste money but also increase your risk of injuring your hands. Some things to look out for when hunting for a good pair of gloves are:

Tasks at hand – Think about what tasks you will most likely be using the gloves for. For instance, if you like to putter around in your backyard garden every morning then choose those that are thick enough that your hands will not get punctured by thorns.

However, it should also be thin enough that you can still move your fingers freely. This will assure you that you can do delicate tasks like holding onto stems when pruning bushes or picking delicate fruits and vegetables.

The material used – Leather work gloves are made of different types of leather materials. Be familiar with the unique characteristics of each. Be careful when choosing a type of leather because some are not as good at certain aspects as others.

Take goatskin gloves as examples. These are lighter and thinner than cowhide gloves but they are not quite as abrasive-resistant.

Construction Quality – Certain details on how leather gloves are made can tell you just how durable they are. Put extra attention to these details if you do not want to waste money on gloves with seams that might pop out the first time you use them.

First, take a look at the seams. Work gloves’ seams need to be double-stitched to prevent them from getting undone. The more stitches there are, the stronger the seam because the pulling forces are spread out to a larger area.

Also, look at where the seams are located. Ideally, you need to get gloves constructed using Gunn cuts. This simply means that the seams are found almost on top of the fingers, as far away from the palms as possible.

This will ensure that the seams will not be subjected to as much wear and tear. Also, this promotes more comfort when wearing it.

Price – Consider the size of your budget, too. If your job does not require the use of leather work gloves and you just want a pair to use for general purposes or when working on your garden, then you do not need to get the heavy-duty one that costs over $20 a pair.

It will be better if you just get some of the cheaper but still high-quality leather gloves. However, if you need sturdy gloves for work then look for the best ones that can still fit in your budget.

If possible, make room in your budget for the gloves because skimping out and buying the cheap ones might lead to serious injuries. Undoubtedly, this will cost more money on your part.

Care and Maintenance

Leather work gloves are very low-maintenance. Some are not even supposed to be washed because doing so will dry out the leather and make it stiff and brittle. If this happens, just re-condition the leather by applying mineral oil all over the surface and waiting for it to get absorbed.

Other gloves require you to wipe them down with a damp rag to get rid of any dust and dirt on the surface. Avoid getting them too wet, though. Once the gloves are clean, apply a thin layer of mineral oil on the surface to keep the leather hydrated, supple, and flexible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most popular leather work glove brands?

There are many different leather work glove brands out there but their quality vastly differs. Some are good while others are not. To avoid wasting time and money on mediocre brands, among the most reputable ones to choose from should include Wells Lamont, Midwest Gloves & Gears, OZERO, Carhartt, KIM YUAN, Superior Glove, OLSON DEEPAK, Vgo, and CLC Custom Leathercraft.

By choosing from any of these brands, you have an assurance that you will get high-quality work gloves worth their price.

What are leather work gloves used for?

You can use them for tasks that require the use of the hands but are dangerous to do so without proper protection. For instance, if you will be laying bricks, it’s important to use gloves that protect your hands from the rough surface of the bricks, keep your hands off the cement mortar, and provide you with enough grip to hold onto the materials.

Are goatskin gloves durable?

Goatskin work gloves are much lighter and more flexible than cowhide gloves but they have similar cut and puncture-resistance levels. However, it is not quite as wear-resistant. To compensate for this, some manufacturers line the inside of goatskin gloves with a reinforcing layer of Kevlar or similar material.

Which natural leather material is the strongest?

Goatskin is the most heavy-duty among all types of leather gloves. Apart from its durability, it has natural lanolin that gives the material its suppleness. Plus, it is naturally waterproof and resistant to abrasion. Furthermore, it is excellent for dexterity.

However, experts also argue that there are other factors to consider besides choosing from different types of animal skin. Which part of the body the leather came from and how the skin is processed are equally important.

A leather cut that comes from the animal’s shoulder or the sides is the most durable and therefore most coveted. In contrast, the ones that come from the belly and neck are often considered “economy grade.”

If you read Reddit or other forums, you will notice that many leather aficionados recommend “full grain.” This term refers to the leather with its original grain unchanged. Essentially, it retains the texture and surface during the tanning process.

As such, full grain develops a rich patina on its surfaces when exposed to the sun and body oils, enabling it to heal itself. In other words, you can buff it off when it gets scratched. Hence, it is considered superior to other types.

Do leather work gloves shrink after getting wet?

No. Whether it’s goatskin or deerskin work gloves, the material will not shrink when wet unless you apply heat.

When exposed to both moisture and heat, even top-rated work gloves’ fibers will tighten and result in shrinking. As we work, we unintentionally get our leather items wet in the rain. When the sun shows up again, they dry up on their own.

This is why regular cleaning and maintenance with good-quality leather shampoo and conditioner is crucial in prolonging the lifespan of your leather goods.

How to make leather work gloves last longer?

If you will be using the gloves for real heavy tasks like wood cutting, masonry work, and fencing then it does not matter how much you take care of them or how high quality they are. The gloves will still deteriorate after a month or two.

However, if you use two pairs of gloves in an alternating manner, the amount of wear and tear on each pair will significantly lessen. Cleaning the gloves regularly is a must, too, preferably after every use. However, avoid washing them in soap and water. You should not even get them wet at all.

Just get a damp piece of cloth or a rag and wipe it all over the gloves to remove any dirt that’s stuck on the surface. To keep the leather supple and flexible, every week or so, apply a thin layer of mineral oil (or olive oil, castor oil, or any other edible oil you have) all over the surface of the glove and wait for it to get absorbed into the leather.

How to make leather work gloves soft?

If your leather gloves are too stiff when you get them, the best way to get them soft and supple is to apply a generous amount of oil all over the surface. You can use any natural oil that you have, like olive oil, coconut oil, even castor oil. You may also use a dedicated leather conditioner.

You can also just break the gloves in by wearing them regularly. Usually, after a day or two of work, the leather in the gloves would have stretched enough to make them soft and flexible.

How to use leather work gloves?

You wear these gloves the same way you would regular ones. However, in some brands, you have a strap or elastic band around the wrist to keep them in place. Do not be surprised if the fingers are a bit loose. That is by design because making them any tighter will reduce their durability.

Also, know that not all leather work gloves can be used for the same tasks. Some are only meant for light to medium types of work, like driving and logistics work. These are typically the ones that are thinner and lighter.

Those usually made of thick cowhide leather and have reinforcing patches along the palm and fingers are the ones used for heavy lifting and other jobs that are more strenuous.

What is the warranty?

Typically, leather work gloves come with a 30-day warranty against factory defects. This means that if they come apart with normal use, then you are entitled to a full refund or a replacement pair.

Some companies have a lot of pride behind their products that they are not afraid to provide 90-day satisfaction guarantees. This means if you are not completely satisfied with your gloves, the company will refund your purchase, no questions asked.

Where to buy leather work gloves?

You can find several brands of this product in brick and mortar establishments like Walmart and Lowe’s. You can probably find around a dozen different brands. If you’re lucky, you will find the right gloves among them.

If you want to have more choices and better deals, go online shopping at online retailers like Amazon. There, you will find hundreds of different brands and models of leather working gloves as well as enjoy better deals.


One can never underestimate the usefulness of the best leather work gloves. Aside from helping you work more efficiently, they will also provide ample protection for your hands.

You have a myriad of choices when it comes to leather work gloves but take note that not all of them can provide you with the kind of performance that you expect and deserve. Hopefully, this buying guide was able to teach you all you need to know to make a wise purchase.

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